Tomas Rosicky and Theo Walcott are both major doubts for crucial Euro 2012 matches against Portugal and Ukraine respectively.
Rosicky missed the Czech Republic’s 1-0 win over Poland with an achilles injury and it is looking increasingly unlikely that he will be able to feature in the quarter-final on Thursday evening.
Czech coach Michal Bilik described Tomas as “irreplaceable”, but was happy with the performance of replacement midfielder Daniel Kolar against Poland.
“It’s difficult to say we have Rosicky. We all know he’s irreplaceable.
“He tried [to see if he was ok] before the match [against Poland] and he couldn’t start, but Daniel Kolar played a great match.”
Theo Walcott limped off during England’s training session on Sunday with a hamstring injury. It is thought to be a recurrence of the injury which kept him out for extended periods of the season with Arsenal. Although unlikely to start, Walcott was Roy Hodgson’s big-impact substitute against Sweden and would probably have played half an hour or so against Ukraine.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Hodgson confirmed that Walcott was taken off during training as a precautionary measure, but was unable to say whether or not he will be available on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately he [Walcott] had a slight set-back in training today, and that’s the major concern for us. He felt the hamstring that kept him out for so long at the end of last season and which we were slightly concerned about when he joined up with us.
“We took the precaution of taking him from the field because he felt a slight tightness there. Whether he can start or not will depend upon what the medical people will tell me, and I need to check that if I do start him he won’t be leaving the field after just five minutes and leave us with the 13 men rather than the 14 I’d count on.”
This is a big shame for Walcott because it is the first time that he is actually getting some playing at a major tournament. He did not feature (despite being a shock inclusion in the squad) at the World Cup in 2006 and was controversially left out of the squad for South Africa 2010. England, of course, did not qualify for Euro 2008. Walcott made only a small cameo appearance in England’s first game against France, but did, however, score and set up a goal in a fantastic substitute performance against Sweden on Friday evening. This was only his 4th goal for England, and his first since he scored a hattrick against Croatia in 2008.